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tv   [untitled]    March 20, 2013 7:00pm-7:30pm PDT

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proper and this project will be built in accordance with the law that will be scrutinized as it has been for six years now. it will meet the stand standards of the code and mr. santos is here to talk about issues but you have three minutes and come up. >> in terms of the engineering issues but this will be a better, safer situation once this project is built. >> commissioners, santos, (inaudible) for the project. stability of the site, we are proposing absolutely the best thing that can happen to this hill. why? one, we are going to take all of the water and create a permanent new watering system, so all of the drainage issues that are occurring on the adjacent properties have been solved by the fact that we are taking that excavation.
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two, we will have retaining walls that are properly designed and properly reinforced and more importantly they will be peer reviewed and we will have another pair of eyes and structural engineers and source engineer and geologists this is the best possible thing that could happen to the hill and stabilized and let's talk about the demolition. mr. williams is saying, is that according to his interpretation of demolition, if you have a house and a brick foundation and you cannot replace that foundation and make it structurally sound. we are just proposing that legislation to strengthen the buildings. according to estimation you will not be able to replace it because you will fall unlawful demolition that is insane. this is an area that we are experiencing the seismic events all of the time. we need to encourage the people to strengthen their foundations
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and to replace their foundations. and that is what we are doing when we have a system that will meet all of the guidelines including the peer review. we meet the guidelines of the department of building and inspection, foundations do not count on your demolition calculation these do not count. we want you who are listening to this and the people that are watching this, to make sure that they are not discouraged from seismickly upgrading their buildings and we want to encourage this and the legislation will be proposed and passed hopefully in the next four months. it will not be discouraged and seismically upgrade your buildings, thank you. >> good evening, commissioners my name is (inaudible) and i have to speak on behalf of my family and my daughter (inaudible) murphy. we have argued that the building when my daughter was only 6 years old and (inaudible) and then, these
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project has been dragged on for a long time and we would appreciate that you approve this so we can get on with our life and move in and settle in before my daughter is heading off to college, thank you. >> thank you. >> okay, sir, rebuttal from the departments? >> mr. sanchez? >> thank you, scott sanchez, i will be brief and refer to any questions, but again the current calculations as shown on the site permit do not equal a defacto demo as noted by the senior building inspect or it is a site permit and additional permit whens they come in for the construction documents that is the addenda and those are not appealed to the board of appeals, if that are submitted show the additional removal of the walls to set aside the building code requirements that will be routed to the planning department and we will not approve that. and if the project no longer
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complies they need to file a revision permit and so i wanted to explain that if after subsequent review by the department of building inspection those walls have to be removed and the project no longer complies with 317, we will require a permit that will be routed for review and on the point of foundations nothing in section 317, prohibts the replacement of a foundation, i want to clarify that, it speaks to the removal of the walls and not to the foundation and we do see many projects that upgrade foundations from the brick foundations and we have historic building that are upgraded to reinforcement concrete foundations and therefore keeping the viability and the longevity of the historic buildings. so that is not something that would trigger a section 317, available for any questions. >> i have a couple of questions and some what unrelated. what is the allowable building height for this project and are they at the maximum? >> yes, they are at the maximum and so it is in an rh one
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zoning district and the title will be 40 feet here, however it is lower to 35 feet and the rh1 zoning district and it might be even subsequently lowered because of the height change. and i think that they are at the maximum height for the zoning. >> which is lower than 40. >> yes. >> the second question, can you speak to this affordbility issue that has been raised. one of the speakers said that it was currently valued at 906,000 which does not strike me as affordable housing. >> that would work out to be about $1,000 a square foot. so, you know, certainly it is the question of is this affordable housing and we would not call it affordable housing in terms of when we have affordable requirements under the planning code and so it says a bmr below market and this will not require them.
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and it does allow an ex-exception from the 317 of a demolition of a family building in an rh1 district if the appraised value of the home is at 80 percent of median. and currently 80 percent of median is about $1.35 million in san francisco. now that does not take into account the size of buildings, which would certainly play into things further. and i mean, i don't think that we could call it affordable as in the definition and the planning code for section 415. this will probably be relatively affordable. under the planning code and $1,000 a square foot and not subject, i believe, to rent control because it is a single family dwelling and yng that it is occupied. i think that buildings that have tenantcy are not subject to rent control and i was referring to 80 percent of
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median is not affordable. if you are 80 percent of median or more, it is $1.3 million or more you are not affordable or accessible. >> it does not mean that threshold of being accessible, it is less than that, but it is work out to be about $1,000 a square foot which i think is a fairly high cost. >> one other question, there is reference to a categorical ex-exception that was granted and withdrawn by the department, would you speak a little bit to that process and what happens subsequently? >> so there was an appeal on the categorical exemption that was issued. the staff and rereviewing that noticed inconsistencies and rescinded that and did an evaluation and issued it. i think that was reissued in february and a month ago or more.
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and that has not been appealed to the board of supervisors but in that environmental evaluation there were discussions on the slope on geology and water and etc.. so, the concerns that were raised by the neighbors related to the geology, those issues were addressed in the entire mental review and they would further be addressed under the site permit review which at the department of building inspection will look at the structure and how it is built. >> would you agree that it should not have been granted originally? >> it seems that the project is exempt from environmental review, i think that there were inconsistentcy in the written letter that was issued so it was reskended to be sure that everything was correct and reanalyzed and reissued it and so we have been advised that it the appropriate process for us to undertake.
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>> thank you. >> one gentleman was concerned about the slope integrity because of the site and we do have in chapter one, the slope and protection act which does as he thinks spoke to earlier, and there santos, this project will be required to have a seismic report from the engineer and it will be reviewed for the stability of the slope, the building, will get a full seismic upgrade and a brand new foundation and so there is no existing foundation remaining i don't think that this would be suitable at all. and just to guarantee to the neighbors that this does get through the review by our structural engineers with the city. and the document on the slope protection act is about 3 pages long and it has the options for our director to send it for the
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peer review if he feels that. so, all of this process is ahead of us, and in the future. with the process. question? i believe that it was the appellant that we don't believe that the requirements were met. do you care to address that? >> possibly in the structural design criteria, but as i just said i have not spoke to dbi engineers, it is something that is going to be typically got under the addenda for the structural work. there is an item in there and it is fairly new administrative bulletin and it was issued last june i believe or maybe even september, it is some people don't even have it in the code. it is one for more recent documents in the code, but it is in there and i am glad that they brought it up and i think that mr. santos did address it as well. but it would not be, it would almost be something that would
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be checked during the addenda review by the engineers, particularly when you look at the scope of the work and the site conditions. so like i am 100 percent confident that is going to be dealt with. >> okay. >> i have a question just to follow up on that. >> are you saying that the structural design submission that did not get submitted as part of the initial package for the site permit does not need to be submitted on the first run? and it can be caught on the addendum part of the process? >> that is pretty much what i am saying and it is possible. >> so it is not a real requirement? is that what you are saying? it is in the package and it is in there, it only applies when
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ab 82 kicks in which is for the peer review portion of it. so it will not be missed before the construction starts. >> each if it get missed you are saying that you have sort of this back stop? >> exactly. >> yeah. >> well, peer review can't be done until you have a detailed design, structural design. >> right, if it was not submitted in the first instance that is not sufficient to reject the permit. >> from your perspective. >> it is a package to say that this building falls under that, it is not really going to give you too much more than that, it is a survey on a report and from my experience, that is what we are doing. but we are going to get that in the addenda process. it is not the basis for rejecting it and send it back.
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>> you know that it is coming in but it didn't come in. that is where i am, i am just trying to understand how you get in the door when you don't have it in the first instance? >> and that is the argument, i don't understand if that is what your department and your position and your practice and your policy is, >> i think that i read it earlier in the first statement inasmuch as i say the permit, it is just a review of the conceptual design, even though that section is in there, the last paragraph probably gives us the discretion to do that with regards to knowing that and based on a structural drawings coming in, all of the structural calculations it definitely is going to be caught, but possibly in this case, it may not have get caught but it would not be a rejection of a site permit in my opinion, nor most of the time the permit is the architectural design and the structure will be coming in on all of the reports and i will
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bring it to the attention of the check because you brought it to my attention and i did noise it myself and in this case it did get missed but it is not something that would reject the project. >> okay. >> it is a document from a geotechnical engineer, i believe, stating that this building is, or does have slope conditions on a hillside. >> but, from my experience inspecting these things, i know that most of our designs here in san francisco were way out or probably over designed more than most. which is good. you know? >> okay. thanks. >> i have a question for mr. sanchez. >> as mr. sanchez approaches i would ask the people on the right side of the room to take a seat we have to keep that area open it is part of the fair code requirements. >> mr. sanchez?
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>> planning. >> so, as argued by the appellant, there is a concern here that there is a defacto, demolition going on and the article that was cited to by the appellant and someone who from the public quotes the developer and the permit holder project sponsor as finding a way to get around the demolition. it seems to me, you know, how often are you seeing this... does this type of project notwithstanding the technical position that you are taking here, smack of a way to circomvent the 317 requirements? >> certainly when you have a rule or a requirement that sets a threshold for additional burden that designers will design to meet that threshold.
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and so wherever the bar is placed that is where one will design to. and so i think that is what they have done in this case and said that they are meeting the letter of the law. so we are going by what is shown on the plans. certainly the board of appeals here in its hearing on this matter and considering all of the facts can consider items in that article and can consider the testimony by all of the parties here in making a decision. we are basing our decision on the plans that are given to us and that are there testifying to and this is what we are going to do and this is what they are going to build and that is what we are expecting them to build if they don't build that and if they exceed the scope, then we will have to review that and come in for a revision permit and may trigger the 317 requirement. >> and in your experience, in the planning department when you see the designs such as this one and you have the evidence that has been
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presented to us today, understanding what sort of the spirit of the law as well as the technical components and requirements of it, is this something that is of concern to the planning department? where we see the people, i mean, at least from my, what i am seeing, it does look like an effort to circomvent what is otherwise required of tit >> it is something that we should not seek, i agree with that. i guess on a deeper philosophical level look at 317 and wonder if it is the best tool to achieve the goals of the city, it is cumbersome to implement and it is able to be exploited. certainly i mean that is, you saw that in the article. and i guess, you know, there are other jurisdictions which have different rules for additions. if the board of supervisor's goal was to prevent houses from
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becoming mega mansion and from doubling in size, then section 317 could have been written to prohibt that but it does not. some municipality have if you add more than 500 square feet and you are above 2,000 or 3,000 then you pay, you pay an affordable housing fee. those are actually some of the more elegant solutions to the issue that we have here but we are implementing what the board of supervisors adopted and so we are implementing the letter of the law and we are doing that to the best of our ability in this case, they are meeting the requirements of the planning code. >> okay. >> so speaking of the law and legislation, i think, that mr., the architect, actually i don't know, is it santos? >> the reference, sorry, thank you. referenced legislation that is potentially going to pass? >> correct. >> for the buildings. >> could you tell me more about that. >> maybe the rectified... it is
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something that is working the way through the process and land use on monday the planning commission is having an informational presentation on that tomorrow. and that is speaking to identifying buildings in the city that are soft story building. and these are sort of a lot of buildings that are like that. and actually pat (inaudible) could speak to that very well and he has been involved with that. and it is identifying these buildings that are residential buildings that are soft serve buildings and it could be residential over ground floor commercial or over garage, and when the ground story, because of the amount of openings, is creating what is called the soft story and it the seismic event it may shift or fall over and the idea is to strengthen those buildings so that it will not be demolished so the people don't get crushed or die in these buildings or also after an earthquake we will have the housing stock and we are not living in the square like we
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did after the 1996 earthquake and i think that those are the goals of the program and we are working with the department of building inspection and the mayor's office is working on this as well. they are meeting it up actually. and to try to develop ways of reviewing applications in a stream line fashion to insure that people can make these important seismic up grades. >> and so the implications of the passage of that legislation, should it pass, is that the type of project that is being proposed or that is an issue here would be permitted notwithstanding the 317 issue. >> if the soft story is to have, i think that is where the structural engineer should come in. that the retrofit requirement is minimal. so they will not need to do a lot of work to secure the home, but they will be able to do kind of minimal amounts or secure the life safety of the building and to preserve the ground story there. it won't necessarily require, like an entirement of foundation in all cases.
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>> there will be frames or other engineering. >> thank you. >> i am not an, engineer. >> and thank you and thank you for the effort. yes? >> just the statement that i made about the 100 percent of the foundation being replaced in this project, i have not seen the structural drawings what i shared is what i meant and what i meant to say is that in my experience as an inspector, most of those projects like this size you generally take it and put in a brand new foundation and mr. williams pulled out a letter in 2011 where he said that around 90 percent of existing foundation and walls will remain in place and mr. santos may want to speak to you, but my experience on these type of projects we don't see any of the existing foundation remaining it has to be taken out because it has to be taken up to today's code. the other thing about the demolition and the walls remaining. the city departments with the
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codes and regulations and whenever planning approves something like this and the building department gets involved and we have this walls to remain in place. and then you have got structural drawings, where someone wants to keep the walls and it is seismic in the building, that is challenging for everybody, from the developer to the inspector because you are looking at old walls that have to remain and then, you know, sometimes there is dry rot, sometimes there are, and so this is a very challenging thing to do and we said earlier that we work very closely with the contractors to try to get them to suspend the walls. if you would not see it anywhere else and we struggle with it and this is san francisco and we have these laws and abiding by them. like we work with people on this issue. it is not someone, i don't think that this project you are going to see someone going in and tearing the building down and you know, throwing all of the lumber away, i can't see that happening. i am certainly expecting to see
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new structural members, along with the old lumbar and floors and ceilings and walls which i generally have seen for years as an inspect or and that works. it is tough to do, but that is what you end up with. so as long as you are getting that picture. >> i think so. >> thank you. >> commissioners? the matter is submitted. >> i guess that i will start. >> okay. >> after going over the appellants as well as the permit holders briefs, thank you for supplying a whole weekend worth of work. i had quite a few concerns. also that it was being built on such a steep grade.
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>> it dripped annually all year long and after doing, new foundation work actually improved the conditions of my neighborhood. i think that there is and mr. murphy and his family have gone through the process for six-plus years and i believe that the neighbors are going to make sure that he does what he does and does what he says. i feel no reason to delay any more.
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>> primarily from the design and impact it is quite different from the procedural issues that have been the majority of the arguments being made. to me, to the proposed structure, starts when they (inaudible) approach to a down hillside which is very appropriate. it starts with a relatively low starting point, and at crown terrace street which is also very appropriate. the issue of what is a demolition or not, is in the calculations. it has been determined by the department that it is not a demolition. i look at it at code section as no different than any other
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code sections, the people in a 40-foot high limit will sometimes want to build up to the high limit and they are going to want to use the exceptions in there for either penthouses or elevator structures or etc.. and it is just another requirement that one deals with. i don't see this as a defacto demolition given that both the planning and the building department have checked the details and yes, people do get it to a... i should not say the other word, the difference from the percentage requirement. and that is no different than what we do when they take it for a set back or any other planning requirement. the question of whether this house impacts the two adjacent neighbors, i believe that the enter face has been addressed by the design.
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they tried to minimize the issue of direct openings of windows facing each other and i think that over all, i am prepared to up hold this site permit. >> i think that people probably gathered from my questions that i i am troubled by the evidence that was presented around the potential circumsvensing of the codes. but at the same time, i think that some of the comments by commissioner honda also make sense with respect to the neighbors sort of policing this project very tightly. i would not... i think that when i see what i believe to be evidence that suggests an abuse or an exploitation of the laws
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that we have to live with and i think that this or the spirit of the laws. i find it problematic, and so i would not be prepared to up hold the permit. >> i feel the same way as president hwang. i mean, again, i think that it is troubling that this appears to be a defacto demolition to me. and it is persuasive to me that the former supervisor was here and who worked on this law and has an opinion about how it should be interpreted, and this differs significantly from it. so i would not vote to up hold
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this permit. >> you want to entertain a motion? >> i will entertain a motion. >> i will move to up hold the site permit on the basis that it is code conforming. >> okay, if you could call the roll, please? >> we have a motion from commissioner fung to up hold this permit on the basis that it is cold conforming. on that motion president hwang? >> no. >> commissioner hurtado? >> no. >> vice president lazarus? >> aye. >> and commissioner honda? >> aye. >>